20 January 2007


Rich walked in from getting the mail today bearing a suspicious look. "Why are you getting something from the Essex County Sherriff's Department?" he asked, handing me a white official-looking envelope with a Salem address. "I don't know," I answered calmly, looking at my own name and address, which were written in a very neat, feminine hand.

Unpaid parking tickets from my previous working life? No, I remember standing in line at Salem City Hall and writing a very big check for all those. Jury duty? Couldn't be that either. I had just been called over the summer.

Rich gave me another doubtful look (what the hell does he think I do when he's at work?) as I tore open the envelope.

"Shit, who the hell is suing me?" At first, all I noticed was the familiar form (I used to review these all the time in a previous job) and my name. It's funny what the eyes choose to see when the mind is scared and confused.

Then the word "Divorce" came into focus and I noticed a friend of mine listed as the plaintiff. And then, "Shit, she's getting a divorce - a shame with two little kids - and she wants me as some kind of a witness. Jeez, Rob was such a nice guy. I wonder how this all happened?"
But wait, this isn't right. That's when I noticed the other handwritten words on the complaint. "Complaint for Divorce of Friendship." It seems that after numerous unsuccessful attempts to reach me, my friend felt I had abandoned her (she said so in the column requesting the reason she was seeking the divorce) and used her sway with the Sherriff's Department to devise this very clever way to let me know.
Once I had gotten over the momentary panic, and put all parts together, I burst out laughing and immediately dialed her number. Payback's a bitch.